Rich Goode, Global Head of Sustainability, Alcatel-Lucent
By Richard Goode, Director of Sustainability, Alcatel-Lucent
Last week, the Environmental Investment Organization, an independent, non-profit research group that promotes eco-friendly investments, published their Global 800 Carbon Ranking report. This report investigated the state of reporting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the world’s 800 largest companies, with a focus on so-called Scope 3 emissions, primarily indirect emissions, such as travel, shipping and emissions from vendors.
Out of the 800, Alcatel-Lucent ranked 4th worldwide for the comprehensiveness, public reporting and verification of our emissions in our annual Corporate Responsibility report as well as the Carbon Disclosure Project.
To rank them, the EIO undertook the massive job of independently surveying the information publicly available on each of the companies in its list to determine the how transparent each was in its reporting.
Companies who report their emissions publicly follow the GHG Protocol, which lays out three major categories:
Scope 1 – All direct emissions from fossil fuels.
Scope 2 – All indirect emissions from the purchase of electricity
Scope 3 – All other indirect emissions, such as distribution of goods, business travel, contracted manufacturing services, purchased goods and services, emissions from our products use phase and even employee commuting.
In all, there are 15 categories in Scope 3, and obtaining that data is quite challenging. Alcatel-Lucent reported on seven of these categories in 2010 and plans to report on 10 categories for 2011. Only five companies reported more than seven categories in 2010.
Since these emissions aren’t directly incurred by Alcatel-Lucent, why even count them, especially if getting the data is so difficult? There are a few good reasons.
- First, to be a leader in sustainability and Corporate Responsibility (remember, we are sector leaders on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index), being as transparent as possible about total environmental impact is crucial.
- Second, without a firm understanding of where our emissions come from, we cannot take the best, most targeted measures to reduce them.
- Finally, full emissions disclosure and verification are expected of us, by our customers, our ratings agencies and increasingly, by government agencies.
Green is one of the three pillars of Alcatel-Lucent’s Corporate Responsibility strategy (the other two are Our People and Digital Inclusion) and to be true to these principles we have to do the hard work to gather and report as many sources of our emissions as possible, and be transparent about disclosing them in a public place.
We appreciate the work the EIO did in compiling this list as well as the acknowledgement it gives us for our work in this area. It validates that we walk the walk when it comes to Green, as well as gives us another incentive to do more in the future.